Saturday, July 30, 2011

making progress.

As many of you know, Ethnie has had a difficult time accepting and warming up to Emmett as a permanent resident of our home. It has been a big adjustment for her. Most friends or family members we know have had their children closer together in age than we have. Commonly, when a toddler is having a hard time adjusting to their new sibling, they will act out by throwing more tantrums or doing things they normally would not do in order to get their parent's attention. For us, that is not the case. Because Ethnie is 4 1/2 years older than Emmett, she can openly tell us what she is thinking or how she is feeling. At times, that can be a bit scary!!! Although it can be unsettling hearing our daughter say things such as, "I don't want a baby living with us anymore.", "Emmett can't come with us.", "He's disgusting.", or "I don't like him at all."; we know it is all part of the adjustment and will pass someday.

Well, I am thrilled to tell you all that Ethnie is now starting to show Emmett some affection, and instead of introducing him as just 'Emmett', she now introduces him as 'my brother' with a smile on her face! She has also stepped up in the 'big helper' department. She feeds him, holds his bottle for him, helps him try to walk, and is constantly moving "dangerous" objects out of his reach. She is truly turning into a great big sister, which in turn makes me a very proud mom!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

dear ethnie,

to my sweet little girl,

Ethnie, I have been thinking a lot about you the past few days because I am blown away by how grown up you are. Time has flown by and now you are 5 1/2 years old and entering kindergarten in the fall. It amazes me how this milestone has approached us so quickly. You are now a school-aged big girl!

I want you to know how proud I am of you! You have had a major adjustment in your life in the past year; welcoming a baby brother into your world. Although at times it has been hard, you have been such a great helper to me and are a very caring big sister. I know you love your brother and will be a great role model for him to follow. He loves you SO much and already worships you! I also know you will watch out for him and be his friend. Just yesterday, you said to me, "Mom, I want Emmett to grow up big like me so we can play ball together." I know that day will come very soon for you two!

I am so impressed by how friendly and kind you are with other kids. Every time we go to a playground, lake or pool you always ask another child if they would like to play with you. By the end of our time there, you always seem to have a little group following you around having fun. You never judge other kids either. Everyone, to you, is a friend.

I really feel like you are such a unique little girl. Your silly thoughts, ideas and actions always make me smile. I feel so lucky to be your mother and look forward to all of our fun adventures together! You will always be my sweet little girl.

love, mom. 


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

he's getting closer...

Within the past week, Emmett has made some serious progress toward walking! Matt, Ethnie and I have been sitting in a circle on the floor and Emmett will try to walk to us. The most progress he's made is walking 6 steps on his own! He's at that stage where he is very excited when he tries to walk and it works against him because he falls over. He also needs to learn how to bend his knees while he walks. We think he will definitely be walking all on his own by fall.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

dr. balfanz.

This is our pediatrician, Dr. John Balfanz. We love him! We see him at Pediatric and Young Adult Medicine, which is located next to Children's Hospital, downtown St. Paul. He was the first doctor Ethnie saw in the hospital when she was born and we've gone to him ever since! He is a very gentle, caring man. You can tell he really loves children and loves his profession. We have always taken his advice and have never been disappointed.
On Monday, the kids both had appointments with him; Ethnie had her 5-year exam and Emmett his 12-month exam. Ethnie passed both her hearing and vision exams perfectly. Then came the hard part - 4 shots! I was surprised at how many she needed. She got 2 shots in each arm and did not shed ONE tear! I was so proud of my big girl. She was given a special gift bag with candy, coloring book, and stickers. Ethnie is now 41 inches tall and weighs 42 pounds.
Emmett did not do as well as Ethnie did. He was already tired because it was nap time, so that didn't help. He got 2 shots in his leg and cried a lot. Poor bud. He just wanted to be snuggled and take a nap. I still can't believe my little man is 12 months old! He is now 32 inches tall and weighs 26 pounds.    

Monday, July 18, 2011

too hot to handle.
For those of you who are not in the area, here is what we have been dealing with the past week. It has been HOT. I'm talking 90+ degrees with 98% humidity. Now, I don't complain about summer because I live for it. In fact, I grew up without AC so I can handle the heat and humidity. I am grateful for my summers. However, when you have a baby this weather can be hard to deal with for their sake. Emmett starts sweating the second we go outside and his cheeks turn a deep red. That scares me! So, for the kid's sake we have had our AC going full blast during the day. I get paranoid about heat stroke and hydration. With that said, if you plan on visiting MN, make sure your plans are on a lake or inside a mall! 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

como zoo.

Yesterday afternoon, I took the kids to Como Zoo. It was BUSY, to say the least. Gotta love the summer tourists! The weather was so perfect; not too hot with a little breeze. Emmett has been to the zoo before, but this was the first time he actually recognized the animals. Ethnie loves the seals best. I think we stood there and watched them for 30+ minutes. We also saw the new polar bear exhibit. It's pretty nice and the polar bears are fun to watch. I especially noticed the flower garden this time. They are beautiful ! I took a few pictures:
watching ducks and flamingos.

mama and baby - so cute!

my favorite animal.

having fun.

the beautiful flower garden.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

sand soup.

Over the weekend, we were in Wadena celebrating my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary. Pretty inspiring, I know ! I really wanted to take pictures, but the battery in my camera was dead. :( Anyway, we had a little bit of time Monday afternoon to play at the lake before we had to drive back. Here are a few pictures I took ! It was a very nice day and the kids really enjoyed themselves. 

loving the sand

making some sand soup

Ethnie has been doing a great job trying to swim by herself and putting her face in the water ! In the past, she has been pretty frightened of the water.

so proud of herself

beautiful day to be at the lake

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

calling all maidens....

This afternoon, Ethnie went to her friend Leila's 5th birthday princess party. It was a very cute party and Ethnie had a lot of fun! They played different Disney princess games, like 'magic carpet walk', 'pin the glass slipper on Cinderella', 'hot potato with the poison apple', princess memory, and more. Leila's mom made her a castle birthday cake, which was very impressive! Happy birthday Leila!
princess Ethnie

playing games

the boys 

Leila is in the center. Such a cute cake !

hot fun in the summertime!

at the wading pool

fun with dad

so thrilled to take a picture !

Emmett loved cruising around the edge of the pool

first 4th of July !!

our pool at home

Emmett loves to splash

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

new toys.

We actually took these videos on Emmett's birthday. We assembled some of his new toys he got. His favorite seems to be the walker/ride on toy from great aunt Kim! Ethnie likes his new toys too. She has told us many times already that "Emmett needs to share his new toys with me."

Sunday, July 3, 2011


Emmett had a pretty rough day today. He's been trying to stand on his own and thinks he's better at it than he is. He lost his balance a lot today and fell down and hit his head 5 times! He didn't even cry very hard. He seems pretty tough. To top the day off, he was laying on the living room rug next to the coffee table and Ethnie was playing with a toy keyboard he got for his birthday. Somehow the keyboard got too close to the edge of the coffee table, fell off, and landed on Emmett's head. Poor guy; he has a little bruised knob on his forehead. Maybe I should get him a helmet....